20 September 2022.
What is this dispute about?
In one word it’s quite simple…………“Solidarity”
One of our members a Barnet Council Housing Repairs worker was injured at work.
His employer Barnet Homes, an organisation 100% owned by Barnet Council refused to provide sick pay.
Barnet UNISON tried to persuade the employer to reconsider but the employer refuses to change their position.
Our members were upset at the treatment of their fellow worker and in solidarity demanded to be balloted. All of our manual workers were clear that it was a matter of principle. Any of them could be injured at work. They understand the terror of trying to survive in the worst cost of living crisis in 75 years on low pay. They don’t understand why their employer is deliberately taking an aggressive attack on their work colleague. All of these workers worked throughout Covid and at one time were clapped as key workers.
The other back story is that our member who was injured is a Kosovo refugee. Very few people will understand what he has endured in his journey from Kosovo to London.
All we are asking is for the employer to pay his sick pay for the time period he was denied pay.
There have been many attempts by Barnet UNISON to reach out to Barnet Homes to try to avoid this dispute. Barnet UNISON had negotiated a new contract for these workers, with sick pay. To try to avert this dispute Barnet UNISON asked Barnet Homes to bring the contract forward by 3 weeks to cover our member when he was injured. This proposal was rejected.
We cannot understand why Barnet Homes prefers to engage in a battle about an amount of money which is almost insignificant to Barnet Homes but means all the world to this one member of staff. Our members would much rather be working for Barnet residents and providing a vital service, but the work they do cannot be at the expense of one of their colleagues being mistreated.
Barnet UNISON has approached Barnet Council and Barnet Labour Party on several occasions over the past four months to try to resolve this dispute.
The results of our strike ballot are as follows:
- 100% turnout
- 100% vote for strike action.
Our members have voted for all-out strike action. This means they are going out and staying out. This is not a 3 day strike then back to work.
Our members are angry and determined.
“Dear Helen and Branch members
Congratulations! What a fantastic result and fantastic show of solidarity to your comrade. ‘Workers united we will not be defeated’
I send a message of solidarity to your branch and members who have decided that they will not leave anyone behind, the strongest and greatest position any workforce can show!!
When you have the dates let me know and I will make every effort to attend your picket line.” (Andrea Egan UNISON President)
Details of when the strike action will start will be published in due course.
Note to Editors: Contact details: Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk
- Breaking News: Official Strike ballot begins for Barnet Council Housing Repairs workers
- Barnet Responsive Repairs workers referred to UNISON’s Industrial Action Committee
- Barnet Council Repairs Operatives 100% turnout and 100% vote for strike action.
4. Barnet Council’s Company Refuse to Show Compassion for Injured Worker https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/13/barnet-councils-company-refuse-to-show-compassion-for-injured-worker/